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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

Bill Tracker: HB 343 - Notifying Officials of Recent Deaths

(Part 5 of 5 in a symposium on election law)

To end the week on election bills, I thought we might take a lighthearted historical look at a few stories on Texas' electoral past with regards to dead people voting.

HB 343 by Rep. Naishtat expands the duties of the probate clerk to examine all proceedings and documents filed with the probate clerk to see if the documents include references to dead people. If you appear on one of those documents as being dead, the probate clerk is to file an abstract with the voter registrar so that your vote will not be counted in the upcoming election.

Texas and Chicago have a unique history of the dead voting. In Texas, the practice is more recent news than historical commentary. In 2006, a man's daughter told the investigating authorities that her father's mail in vote probably shouldn't count because he was dead.

Texas also has the election story of Landslide Lyndon. In the 1948 democratic senate primary, President Lyndon B. Johnson won the primary against Coke Stevenson by 87 votes. The votes to give President Johnson the lead came from the infamous Ballot Box 13. Oddly, the votes were cast in alphabetical order. Hmmm.

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